Rás Stories

James Moss Reflects On The Recent An Post Rás
Jul 13, 2013, 10:15

James Moss IG Sigma Sport
“The long-running Irish stage race, known simply as the RAS to everyone involved in cycling, is one of the highlights of the year to many people, me included. It is a superbly organised event, on fantastic roads throughout Ireland with eight days of uncontrollable, aggressive racing. Perfect.

As IG Sigma Sport were going there with arguably one of the strongest teams in the race, we were all really looking forward to getting stuck in and getting some results notched up. If I was to say the race was pretty much a disaster for the five of us, I am pretty sure all but one rider would agree.

Problems began very early in stage one when Pete Williams became very ill after eating something that did not agree with him at all. Somehow he got through the 160k stage but, without going into the grim details, was in no state to get through the second stage without much food inside him. One rider down.

The third stage went much more to plan and Pete Hawkins rode superbly finishing 4th on the stage and earned the yellow jersey in the process. The next day things went pear-shaped again. Whilst I was riding on the front I got word that Peter had crashed heavily. Impressively, he was continuing to ride at the back of the bunch that was constantly doing +45kph despite the fact that he only had one hand on the bars as he was sure his collarbone was broken. Having known Pete for a long time now I knew he’d be gutted to crash out of his home race whilst in the yellow jersey and that he would try to continue for as long as possible. This was clearly a very bad idea, so after a stern word or two he did the sensible thing and stopped at the side of the road. Two riders down.

Stage four was the Queen stage taking in the two first category climbs amongst others. The race was fast from the start and didn’t really ease off. The three remaining IG Sigma Sport riders were all in the front group coming to the foot of Healy Pass. The group splintered up the climb and over the top I could see a few groups just ahead on their way down the fast, technical descent. A few corners into the descent I came around a nasty bend which tightened up to see two riders on the floor and I promptly joined them in a big heap.

After being unconscious I came round in the arms of the Race Doctor only for another rider to crash straight into him. This second clattering to my body made it immediately obvious that something was very wrong with my collarbone, confirmed by the big lump of bone poking through the skin which definitely was not there before! Three riders down.

A long and bumpy trip in an ambulance to Cork hospital and I leave with two staples in my head and a collarbone needing surgery. Not a great day out for me or our DS, Simon, who is on his second hospital trip in as many days…

Jump forward a few weeks, several hospital trips and a house move the length of the country later and I am rather knackered but well down the road to recovery. A plate and eight screws have been added to my collarbone and due to the awkward position of the break I am now in my final week of wearing a sling to relieve all pressure from the metalwork. This has meant I have had the unfortunate opportunity to become reacquainted with my much despised turbo trainer!

After two weeks and almost 25 hours on the hideous thing I am more than ready to get back on the road and hope to be back for the Stockton Grand Prix where IG Sigma Sport are definitely due some good luck.”


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